Part 7 of the Morocco miniseries: Words from the dusty road
“I used to look up to people who’ve backpacked through Europe.”
Tourism, traveling, backpacking and the general means of roughing it while moving from one country to another has lost its romantic allure to me. I no longer look at it with a youth’s glossy eyed innocence. For the moment, I am saturated. And because of this saturation, I am able to stand across the fence and give myself lectures that would otherwise sound like heresy to the backpacking religion.
I think this comes from the failure to find the type of traveling that I was really looking for. No, I had mistaken the ideal in my mind with the general accepted concept of traveling. Makes you wonder just exactly what I happened on this trip to change my perception of it so drastically. It’s simple really. I just realized that everything is already taken cared of for the tourist. Less so in 3rd world countries like Morocco, but it feels smooth as melted butter when you are going through Europe. Even the cheapest of the worst hostels that we stayed at felt like heaven compared to the relative discomfort we’ve been through. But that’s not it at all. It’s the fact that the relative uncomfortable place is even there to begin with that bothers me.
No, I don’t think I want to travel as a tourist at all. I don’t want to see the museums, the churches or any type of architecture that are either semi bombed out or restored to perfect shape. The canned sights, the soul searching and self exploration have all been done to death in my life (Last tally, I’ve seen 90 cities already with some more to add to the list). No, for me, traveling is about the interaction with people. With other travelers and with the locals in order to live their life through my body.
That and the fact that I met this 45 year old guy on the road who’ve been traveling since 20. We talked, we exchanged thoughts. I walked away telling myself: “I do not want to be like him.”